Friday, June 26, 2009

Off for a few days

I'll be off for the next week or so, camping in our motorhome - my husband fishing, me reading and drawing. It will be good to get away once more.

Recent days have been good for me, especially today. I'm taking a little loxapine at night now to help me get better rests at night. This morning I slept till 6:00 - much better than waking up at 3 or 4 as I have been.

Today I feel quite normal, hardly depressed at all. Yet I guess I'm a little fearful too. So many times I've started feeling well, only to drop down again a couple days later. How long will this good mood be with me this time?

But I guess I should be more positive and try to expect that I will one day be a stable person again. I'm praying for a more lasting wholeness. I want to get back to work again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bedrock under my feet

Darn! I just saw my GP and there's nothing physically wrong with me. This excessive sleeping I've been doing is "all in my head" - due to depression. My sleeping pattern has been weird lately, symptomatic of depression. I wake up at four or five (six is normal for me) and don't go back to sleep - till the middle of the day, and then I feel like I want to nap all the time.

The sleeping, and the result - not accomplishing anything - is depressing. Or is it the other way around? Is it that I don't feel like doing anything, feel depressed, so escape by sleeping?

And yet I have some good times thrown in there as well. I'm really trying to line up things for myself to do, things that I might find stimulating. And yet it is too often hard to motivate myself.

I feel best when I'm around people. Had a wonderful time at church on Sunday. That morning set the tone for the rest of the day and my husband and I went for an outing, the kind of outing we used to take when we were younger. It was a good Father's Day for him.

A friend told me how wonderful Psalm 18 is, especially in The Message. When I went to it I was especially taken with the very first verse. I've had my Bible open to it ever since and look at it often. It encourages me to trust in God - to trust that He will give me a "firm place to stand."

"I love you, God - you make me strong. God is the bedrock under my feet."

Friday, June 19, 2009

Walking on water - Part 2

A couple of weeks ago I told you about the Bible study Living Room would be starting today, John Ortberg's "If you want to walk on water you've got to get out of the boat." It's based on the story of Peter, leaving the boat in the midst of a storm, walking to Jesus.

There were six of us at this first session. More people will be joining us in the future.

I've been so looking forward to this study, knowing I needed it to help me rebuild my trust in God. Knowing I needed some spiritual food. My friend Helen is facilitating and she is an excellent teacher, a spirit-led person. Her influence has been a big part of my growth, ever since I first started going to her studies and since she became my friend and mentor.

I've been praying a lot over this study, believing that God would answer, that he would help me rebuild my strength with its help.

God did not let me down. By chewing with the other participants on what it meant to leave our boat and what it meant to focus on Jesus and trust in him, I do feel strengthened and encouraged.

After today's lesson I can see that I've been focusing too much on my troubles, my illness, my waves. I've been focusing on those instead of on Jesus and the work God has given me to do. And when you focus on the waves instead of on Jesus, you tend to sink - you start thinking of what's within your own power instead of what's within God's power.

Tonight I feel bright awake - alive. What a wonderful feeling!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

In good hands

Thank God, Living Room is in good hands. We had a volunteer offer to coordinate and facilitate the July and August meetings. And many hands have offered to help with all the other details, like the lunches.

I've had some good days and then some bad. On the bad days, I don't necessarily feel dark, but all I want to do is sleep. And then it's hard to motivate myself to do anything. That lack of motivation is very discouraging and - yes - depressing.

And I wonder: I've been struggling like this for over six months now. How much longer will it continue? When I'm down, I lose all hope. Will I ever be able to get off this roller coaster? Am I doomed to continue the rest of my life in this condition? When can I truly pick up my work with enthusiasm again?

This morning I meditated on Philippians 4:6-7. "The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

And in verse 8, Paul talks about all the excellent and praiseworthy things we need to think about. Good advice. Please, God, help me cling to these verses today.

I have some things lined up to do today. That is good. And I'll see my GP about this excessive sleepiness. Might it be a physical problem? My thyroid maybe?

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Isn't it interesting how something dying can actually be quite beautiful - expressive? I photographed some dried up roses today because they said something to me. A person might think I'm depressed to take such pictures. But actually, I'm not today. Have had a good day.

Yesterday's Living Room was wonderful - at least, I felt wonderful being there with everyone. It felt like home. And though I was only leading a small portion of the meeting, it felt good to do so. Such a clear indication that God means for me to do this work.

I've decided to take a holiday from the organizing of Living Room for the summer months. But when asked, no one wanted the meetings to stop for the summer and most of the people at the meeting offered to help out - to make sure it keeps running without me. Good to know the group is so important to them.

I look forward to church tomorrow. My first service in three weeks.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Up and down

Hi everyone,

It has been a long time since I posted. Things haven't been good. Every once in a while a good day and every once in awhile an absolutely horrendous day.

I am grateful for the good weather we've had. I've been able to spend the early morning hours sitting on the patio, listening to the birds, enjoying the flowers, aware of God's presence. Those times have been healing.

I've discovered that one of my worst problems lately has been Living Room. This ministry that always gave me such a feeling of joy has become a burden. I feel very alone with the responsibility - and it is a big responsibility.

Is it the depression that is making it feel like a burden? Or is the burden causing the depression? I'm not sure what it is. I just know that I need a lot of prayer right now for someone to come alongside me to share in the work. I need someone who will share this vision with me.

My own group isn't a problem. I have lots of help there. It's the bigger picture of Living Room - the raising awareness within the church - the helping churches learn how to support people with mental illness. That's where I feel I very much need support.

Every once in awhile my mood dips very low - dangerously low. And then, one or two days later, I'm coping again. Never know how I'm going to wake up in the morning.

And yet I know I need to trust God. I need to remember that he is in charge. And I need to remember to keep talking to him - aware of his presence, grateful for his love and his goodness. I'm trying to cling to God as well as I can.

I'm grateful to Wendy and Susan for your emails - for your concern for me. I appreciate your thinking of me and your prayers.